October 2021 Newslette

Words of Welcome

Dear All, 

"Here I go again" and  "We did it before and we can do it again" are two famous phrases that epitomize the state of affairs we are now dealing with. These messages are good guides to expedite our practice of yoga in order to manifest the highest good for all as we go through the uncertainties of the pandemic.

"Here I Go Again" is also the title of a well-loved song—optimistic, joyful, trusting, and full of faith. Embracing this message, at this time, in this threatening return of unknown darkness, is a positive step toward keeping strong and healthy, emotionally and physically. We are taught in our practice of yoga the dire effects of negativity and fear.

In October, Mother Nature presents stronger signs signaling the onset of winter and the challenging weather conditions to follow. But we are very attuned to the perpetuity of nature and we know spring will follow, demonstrating the truth of the second quote, inspired by World War II. We got through the initial onslaught of COVID, and we can do it again, with the variants or whatever else the pandemic will present. Let our practice of yoga light the path leading to a safe and sane environment, personally and planetarily. 

Support your state of certainty, consciousness, and communal responsibility by connecting with YTA. It is a resource for all beings, teachers, students, or the curious. An uplifting presentation, by informed presenters, is offered on the second Saturday of each month from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Make this important personal commitment and make a difference, within and without.

Yours in yoga, 

Paula Renuka Heitzner

2021–22 Workshops 

Saturday, October 9
1:30–4:30 p.m.

via Zoom

The Anatomical Body:

Perception and Practice for Yoga

with Lauri Nemetz

In both yoga and anatomy, what we can’t “see,” we may not acknowledge or understand. What we do perceive, however, can often create space in our field of vision as yoga teachers, as well as in our own practice. We will explore the changeable place of perception in the history of anatomy and how yoga teaches us through focus that things appear in their true shape (Yoga Sutra 1.2–4). 

In this workshop we will mix anatomy stories, images, and video clips from lab and anatomical atlases (illustrated maps of the human body) with hands-on explorations and yoga practice to understand the human body and its variations on a deeper level. Through visuals and practice, Lauri will guide participants into exploring new connections and understanding. Yoga teachers and anatomy students of all levels are welcome. Come explore!

Recommended Props: a block, blanket, bolster, and belt, and a chair if possible.

Note: A recording will be made available to registrants for a week following the workshop. 

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The Zoom meeting link will be sent automatically in your registration confirmation upon receipt of payment.

Please ensure you have it before the workshop—check your junk/spam folder!

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Lauri Nemetz MA, BC-DMT, LCAT, E-RYT 500, C-IAYT, a past president of the YTA, is an international yoga and anatomy workshop presenter and anatomy teacher in yoga TT programs. She has been an adjunct associate professor at Pace University since 2004 (teaching both yoga and anatomy) and was a 2020 Pace President’s Award honoree for Outstanding Contribution. In addition, she is a licensed creative arts therapist, a member of the American Association for Anatomy, a board-certified member of the Academy of Dance/Movement Therapists, a certified yoga teacher at the 500-hour level, and certified yoga therapist (C-IAYT). Lauri is ever curious and enjoys sparking conversation and new ways of thinking and moving. She is currently writing a book entitled, The Myofascial System in Form and Movement (publication date, 2022). She loves working with people in unwinding patterns and finding a meaningful yoga practice. 

Future Workshops

November 13     Via Zoom   

Refining the Path to Your Greatest Self: Understanding the Roles

of Breath Training, Asana, Relaxation, Pranayama,

and Meditation
with Luke Ketterhagen
Together we'll take a deep look at some of the major themes and building blocks of any yoga practice, including breath training, asana, relaxation, pranayama and meditation. Through our work and study we will find understanding in the role, effective timing, technical details and the specific combinations of practices that can create something extraordinarily powerful. Learn more!

December 11    Via Zoom  
The Sahana of Love
with Jovinna Chan

January 8
The Bhagavad Gita
with Devarshi Steven Hartman (to be confirmed) 

February 12     Via Zoom   
Yin Yoga for Endurance and Resilience in Times of

Loss and Grief
with Shradda Hilda Oropeza

March 12
Krama: Creating Sacred Connections for Practice Through Order

and Sequencing
with Carla Stangenberg

April 9
The Dowel as a Tool for Alignment and Support: Working with a Neutral Spine with Alison West

May 14
Yoga and Lifestyle Practices for Hormonal and Immune Health, Vitality, and Well-Being with Jeff Migdow

June 11
Dharma: Finding Your Place in the Order

of Things

with Stephen Cope
Based on the book, The Great Work of Your Life

Register Now

Unless otherwise stated, workshops are $45 members / $65 nonmembers in advance ($55 / $75 day of) and count toward Yoga Alliance certification requirements. Preregistration is highly recommended in order to guarantee a space in the workshop. Cancellation within 24 hours of a workshop may result in forfeiture of the registration fee.

From the September Workshop
Tias Little




by Lauri Nemetz

Everything is held together with stories. That is all that is holding us together,

stories and compassion.

Barry Lopez

I first began studying yoga back during my days in graduate school in the early 1990s while I was training as a dance/movement therapist. I realized very quickly that my understanding and perception of the world were both expanding courtesy of my yoga practice. Seeing anything on a more profound level is similar to opening one’s eyes underneath the surface of a lake. Suddenly, the idea of what exists is extended. A whole other universe appears, and a literal deeper understanding of what the world contains makes itself known. Every area of yoga has allowed me entry into another place, whether it was the revelation of a well-executed pose or the world of meditation.  

Similarly, deep diving into anatomy has given me a path into a different level of understanding and an ability to look at an entirely diverse and yet connected universe. I initially studied anatomy in the standard form of parts and pieces, in the names of bones and muscles, and spent quite a lot of time memorizing from books, until I knew I had to learn directly from the body itself. While I was first wary of human dissection, I had to discover for myself some of the mysteries under our very thin layer of skin. I found the inner world was full of mountains, rivers, and valleys, just like our larger world outside. I initially planned to do only a few dissections as a means to enhance my knowledge, but I found I had some skill level and talent at dissection in showing a story. These days, I have assisted and taught hundreds of dissections, and each body has been a gift of learning that I take back to the living.

Dissection is, after all, also taking a viewpoint on what structures to see and how to see them. The traditional words of anatomy become more interesting when one learns that many of the Latin and Greek origins describe a picture, such as the coracoid process of the scapula named for the crow’s beak shape, or that tuberosity described the shape of a bump that forms on a bone as an attachment point. As I dove further into myofascial anatomy, my interest shifted away from purely muscles and bones and toward fascia, a biological fabric of connection that traditionally has been ignored in many books but is having a moment in the movement world. What I wanted to see reversed itself, and having additional names helped me literally see what I had missed previously, or simply hadn’t noticed due to a lack of awareness.

The choice I have made to be an anatomy dissector might seem an odd co-career for a yoga teacher, but I have always been interested in exploring the inner and outer world, which are reflections of each other in so many ways. I find that poets and anatomists alike ponder questions of form and beauty and perception.  

The idea even of misperceptions and correct perception can be thought of in terms of the Sanskrit avidyā (“ignorance” or “incorrect understanding”) and vidya (“understanding”). Sometimes translated as “absence of correct knowledge,” avidyā is also categorized as a klesha, which causes human suffering. While we cannot avoid all suffering, we can soften suffering through better perspective.  

In my own teachings, I often quote the Barry Lopez passage at the beginning of this article, because in dissection as well as in life, one can only ever know part of a story, of any reality. When I see someone on my table, I can guess at body patterns and surgeries that may or may not prove true as we dive deeper into the body form. However, I cannot know for sure if this was someone who was in pain or comfort, or what his or her own perception of his or her life was like. What is left behind is like a seashellthe beautiful remains of a life carved into shape, but not the actual existence itself. 

Yoga and anatomy have both taught me compassion, and, above all, that we have to practice that compassion every single day. We all make daily mistakes in our perspective. The danger is clinging to avidyā and professing to understand absolute ideas of knowledge.  Science, like yoga, is questioning and curious and willing to be wrong. Taking time to focus on our perspective, and to be able to change that in light of new ideas or knowledge, can help expand our ways of working in anatomy and in life.  

To learn more about Lauri, visit her on Facebook (Lauri Nemetz), Instagram (wellnessbridge), or at wellnessbridge.com.

Yoga Q & A

Does Yoga Change Your Life?

Yoga is a very good form of exercise for everyone. But if one practices with the focus and diligence it provokes, we begin to be aware of how much human potential we actually have, especially as we integrate all our aspects and recognize our capabilities. Our lives change! 

We feel more strength physically. Emotionally, as we get more in touch with the gifts of the heart as it opens, and its light clears the darkness, it promotes trust and faith to overcome and diminish crippling fear. Our lives change!

This section is dedicated to answering your questions about yoga—as a student or as a teacher. Questions? Comments? Send them to yta_editor@ytayoga.com or go to our Facebook page to share your thoughts!

Paula Heitzner, ERYT500, is a master yoga teacher. She has taught yoga for over 50 years and has trained many others in the time-honored principles, practices, and philosophy of yoga. The “teacher of teachers,” as she is called by her students, can be found at her studio, the Nyack Yoga Center, in its new location at the American Legion Hall. 

Learn more about Paula at nyackyogacenter.com.

Member Classes and Events 

YTA members (individuals and studios) are invited to include their events here. Send details to yta_editor@ytayoga.com by the 15th of the month to be included in the following month’s newsletter. Member events are also posted in YTA's online directorythe source for information about yoga teachers, studios, and yoga teacher trainings throughout the Hudson Valley. To be included, individual and studio members may send their information to yta_communications@gmail.com.


Carolyn Iannone, RYT-200
Free weekly gentle yoga via Zoom with the “queen of gentle yoga” (as dubbed by her students). Register at Finkelstein Library (Spring Valley) for Tuesday classes at 5:50 p.m. and at Pearl River Library for Thursday classes at 5:50 p.m.

Elisha Fernandes Simpson, LMSW, RCYT, ERYT

Yoga Alliance certified 200- and 300-hour teacher training, Oct. 26–Apr. 26, 6:30–8:30 p.m.

Gina Callender
Yin/Restorative, Mondays, 7 p.m.; Open-level Hatha yoga,
Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m., via Zoom.

Jenny Schuck
Join former owner of Yoga Culture in intermediate and advanced classes with mix of vinyasa and held poses, plus bodywork and ball rolling, on demand on Vimeo; $10/class.

Paula Heitzner
Mixed-level yoga with the “teacher of teachers,” M-Tu-W-Th, 9:30–11 a.m, American Legion Hall, Nyack.

Sylvia Samilton-Baker, MA, ERYT
Vinyasa yoga, Thursdays, 8 p.m.; Hatha yoga, Saturdays 10:30 a.m., starting Sept 11, both via Zoom. Vinyasa yoga, Wednesdays, 9:30 a.m., NYSC/Dobbs Ferry (register online; if not a member, there is a fee).

Final Thoughts


join t

Fear is the cheapest room in the house

I would like to see you living
In better conditions,

for your mother and my mother
Were friends.

I know the Innkeeper
In this part of the universe.
Get some rest tonight,
Come to my verse tomorrow.
We’ll go speak to the Friend together.

I should not make any promises right now,
But I know if you
Somewhere in this world-
Something good will happen. God wants to see
More love and playfulness in your eyes
For that is your greatest witness to Him.

Your soul and my soul
Once sat together in the Beloved’s womb
Playing footsie.

Your heart and my heart
are very, very old


Yoga Teachers Association was created in 1979  by a small group of pioneering yoga teachers who saw the need for affordable and continuing education. Today, YTA continues as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to expanding learning opportunities for teachers and committed students in the Hudson Valley. We offer monthly workshops presented by the leading yoga teachers of our time for the benefit of the community. All are invited. Membership dues and additional contributions are deductible to the extent allowable by law.

 for individual membership
$75 for studio membership

 members / $65 nonmembers in advance
($55 and $75 day of)

Board of Directors

Lorraine Burton

Susan Edwards Colson

Membership Chair

Jenny Schuck

Programming Chair

Gina Callender, E-RYT 200, RYT 500, CEP

Marketing and Communications Chair

Cassie Cartaginese, RYT

Terry Fiore Lavery, RYT

Lisa Sloane, MA, ERYT

Board Member at Large
Paula Heitzner, ERY



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Yoga Teachers Association • 18 Derby Lane • Ossining, NY 10562 • USA